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In the Arms of the Beast (Kings of Hell MC #5)
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— The real demons live within —
Laurent. Time traveller. Devoted husband. Stubborn as the devil himself.
After everything Baal put them through, neither Laurent nor Beast considered ever making another pact with a demon, but in the spur of the moment, temptation becomes too great, and they decide on one more deal.
This time, with Mr. Magpie.
But the gift might prove to be more than they can handle. The danger to the human world has already strained their relationship, but Magpie’s offering brings out the worst in both Laurent and Beast. Confronted with each other’s flaws, they need to decide if, despite all they’ve been through together, perhaps they’re just not meant to be.
With the world on the brink of collapse, and their pact binding them in new and unexpected ways, they have to put their differences aside to stand a chance at saving their family.
FINAL BOOK IN THE SERIES. NOT A STANDALONE.
WARNING: This story contains scenes of violence, offensive language, and morally ambiguous characters.
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Chapter 1 – Laurent
Minutes were excruciatingly long. Each time Laurent glanced toward the clock, the long hand had barely moved, and he was on the verge of concluding that the device was powered by the same faulty electricity that resulted in the burning smell coming from the bar’s kitchen. He glanced at Fox and Rev, who sat in the booth across from him, but they were discussing something engine-related Laurent had no context for. The conversation was as normal, as if the two men weren’t worried about the fate of their close friends—and in Rev’s case even his last remaining son—settled with beer and burnt French fries.
Laurent despised that the word ‘French’ was attached to anything so revolting.
“Shouldn’t they be back yet?” he asked Elliot, who was nervously chewing black nail polish off his fingers.
“I can’t wait to go home. Fingers crossed that Maureen will be too busy to spy on us,” Elliot said, though he crossed his thin arms over his chest.
Fox frowned. “Who? Maureen? Is a granny spying on you?”
“It’s one of the ghosts. She was in the asylum, because she’s so sex-crazed, and apparently that was a reason to be locked up back then,” Elliot told him, playing with his empty cup.
Laurent swallowed, horrified. At least this was something to take his mind off the danger Beast was up against. “You mean she’s watching you… when you’re intimate?”
“It’s not that big of a deal when she stays hidden, but last week she tried touching Knight’s dick, and that was so not on.” Elliot complained, before looking at his wrist watch. “Where the hell are they?”
Rev sighed and put down his beer bottle with a loud thud. “You whine like two girls. They’ll be back as soon as they can. Those kinds of operations require patience. Maybe something held them up.”
“There is nothing feminine about worrying about one’s husband,” Laurent said, not holding back on the venom. He was not in the mood for Rev’s attitude. What if what ‘held them up’ was a bullet through Beast’s skull? Laurent had seen the terrible damage firearms were capable of.
He wasn’t stupid. It was obvious that breaking into a rich man’s house to steal his most prized possession would be no easy feat, but he didn’t understand the process such deeds involved when technology offered a level of security that to Laurent’s mind was akin to magic. All he needed was a time frame. Or, perhaps, some reassurance from men who should know the situation better.
Instead, he was stuck worrying that his husband was up against guns that could shoot dozens of deadly projectiles in the blink of an eye.
Fox cleared his throat. “They need to be careful. That’s why it’s taking so long. Just chill and get some French fries.”
“If anything, they are American potato sticks, but thank you.” Laurent was not having any of that greasy food, but he definitely needed to ‘chill’ so he pulled out his notebook to take his mind off matters he couldn’t influence.
Elliot smiled. “Here we go. The notebook’s out. Alert. Alert!”
“This is no laughing matter. The fate of all humanity could hinge on what I’ve got here.” So maybe he was being a tad dramatic, but his research was very important.
Rev rolled his eyes, but that was his usual reaction to anything he didn’t enjoy, so Laurent ignored it.
Elliot, however, took the bait and shifted closer, glancing at the open page. “Wow, how do you write in such straight lines? It’s inhuman.”
Laurent straightened with pride, even though his skill had been beaten into him with a cane. “Just practice. You said Maureen visits you often.” He pointed to the ghost’s name in his notebook. “She’s definitely made a pact with Baal if she still roams the clubhouse. Has she ever mentioned what it was about?”
Elliot shrugged. “Not really. She always changes the topic when I ask. Why?”
Rev chewed on his fries and lit himself a cigarette, as if his food weren’t burnt enough. Most modern establishments did not allow tobacco products on the premises, but in this place neither the staff nor the sparse clientele seemed to care. “Maybe she did some crazy shit and doesn’t wanna admit it.”
Laurent frowned. Since when was Rev a part of this conversation? He turned the pages in his notebook to get to the bit about a child born without a navel. “But she was in the asylum at the time of the strange child’s birth. Maybe she could help us find out more about the other woman. Any leads could be useful.”
Fox watched him with a half-smile. “And why do you care about a baby someone had fifty years ago?”
Laurent took a deep breath. “Because anything out of the ordinary might have involved Baal’s influence. Which in turn could lead us to discovering more about his powers.”